Big thank you to the Newseum for the opportunity to present.
For those that were not able to attend the Teacher Open House at the Newseum here are the resources I highlighted in my session on “Math and Media.”
- BBC Article on Fact Checking through Graphs
- Trump’s America: Are things as bad as he says? Feb. 9, 2017, by Roland Hughes
- Slow Data Investigative Reporting
- “Why Cops Shoot” April 5, 2017, Tampa Bay Times by Ben Montgomery
- Book Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil
The Newseum’s Website has the Today’s front pages available for download. You can search using the map, which is kinda cool.
Rather than printing out the front pages students can download the pdf and measure the proportions using GeoGebra.
Here is an example of an activity to do with students.
“What information does the Front Page tell us about the news that is important to that state/region?”
Act one: Measurements
Working in groups of 1-2 students will need access to a computer and the internet or multiple printed out front pages.
- download the pdfs of front pages
- save the front pages as jpegs.
- Upload to Geogebra
- Measure the line segments or make polygons over the areas and GeoGebra will find the area.
Students will input the data into a google form or a printed table to record the following information: (Example of FrontPage Proportion Data collection )
- Newspaper measurements
- Article measurements of photos and text
Act Two: Analysing results
Students will use math to explore the following question.
“What information does the Front Page layout reveal about the news that is important to that region?”
Ask students to determine if they need more information about the state or other newspapers. How are they going to determine the value of a story? What will their measurable criteria be?
Act Three: Presenting and Comparing
Allow students time to compare their results with other groups.
- What did they notice about other states?
- For that day, were the same stories covered?
- Who was represented in the paper? Were they shown in a positive or negative light?
Have students collect data over a 4 month period time for one particular newspaper to analyze broader trends in the Front Page layout and featured stories.
I am going to do this activity as a slow data collection project with my grade 7 students. I will share the forms and reflections along the way. Please let me know if you try this activity and share your feedback.